Winning the Grudge Match

Don't let lingering anger and hostility take over your life. Grudges can impact your health -- learn what you can do to let them go.
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Give Up Old Grudges

Several years ago, I was thrilled to be asked to co-write a book with a prominent architect -- a woman whose work I greatly admired and who, at the time, I considered a friend. Putting aside other projects to meet the ridiculously tight deadline, I spent the summer glued to my computer and phone, interviewing, researching and writing. I was thrilled to learn that, with minor changes, everyone loved the manuscript.

Then I received my advance copy. My name wasn't on the cover. Oh, it was there all right, buried in small print on an introductory page. "You weren't really the author of the book," the architect explained when I called to inquire what had happened. "You just wrote the text." Excuse me? I'd always believed that's precisely what an author did!

I was livid -- and stayed that way for the better part of a year. Flush with self-righteous anger, I'd gleefully rehearse in my mind (and to anyone who'd listen) all the deliciously nasty retorts I wished I'd said -- and fully intended to one of these days. Needless to say, we're no longer friends but, for a long time, I remained miserably uncomfortable every time I bumped into her -- which, unfortunately, was often.

So I nursed that grudge. And though I hated her, in time, I hated even more the way hating her made me feel. I knew I was supposed to let bygones be bygones -- after all, the virtues of forgiveness are hammered into us since childhood. But I just couldn't forget and move on.

Whether you're still miffed about the nasty crack your sister-in-law made about your Thanksgiving turkey 10 years ago, or reeling from a colleague's grab for a job that should have been yours, at some point, every one of us feels hurt or mistreated -- sometimes deeply -- by friends, lovers, family members or colleagues. A grudge is born.

Continued on page 2:  Gauntlet of Grudges


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